The race started several minutes after 9:00 AM. Ani Veltcheva led coming off the starting line, but Matt McCurdy and Vince Molosky soon took over the lead. The two ran together through the first half of the race, leaving the rest of the field farther and farther behind. Then McCurdy struck.
"I made a move at about two miles," said McCurdy, a graduate student in mathematics at Florida State University. "I hadn't run the course before and I didn't want any surprises. At the two-mile mark I had seen everything so I went."
McCurdy opened up a quick gap on Molosky, then continued to steadily draw away. When McCurdy crossed the finish line in a winning 16:27, he had a 150-meter lead. While McCurdy was increasing his margin on the field, Christopher O'Kelley was moving closer to Molosky. O'Kelley never got near enough to challenge for second, though, and Molosky took the runner-up spot in 16:58. O'Kelley was third in 17:07, while Zach DeVeau placed fourth in 17:27.
|Vince Molosky and Matt McCurdy|
Geb Kiros led the master runners from the start, but Mickey Moore and Gary Droze were closing in on him late in the race. Kiros held off those rivals to finish as the first master runner in the race, placing eighth overall in 17:42. Moore was right behind, ninth in 17:45, with Droze following, tenth in 17:46.
Just six days before his Cookie Run win, McCurdy had raced Gulf Winds Track Club's Tallahassee Half Marathon, 13.1-miles long.
"Too long!" said McCurdy. "That was my first and last half marathon."
McCurdy will stick with the five-kilometer distance for his next race, the Shamrock Scurry 5K on 4 March 2017.
McCurdy had run side-by-side with Molosky for most of the Cookie Run, but no one in the women's field could run with Ani Veltcheva. Veltcheva--a seventh-grader at Abraham Lincoln Middle School in Gainesville, Florida--actually led the entire field for the first few meters of the race. A few of the men overtook her, but none of the other women. Unchallenged, Veltcheva steadily built a 250-meter lead on her way to a 17:35 finish. Sheryl Rosen was second in the women's standings and fifteenth overall in 18:31. Brittney Barnes was the third woman and 21st overall in 19:26. Laura Reina was the first woman master and sixth female finisher, 43rd overall in 21:42.
17:35 is Veltcheva's best 5K performance yet, bettering the 17:44 she ran three weeks earlier in Saint Augustine at the Matanzas 5K. She's looking to trim a few more seconds, though. Veltcheva has her eye on the 5K world record for twelve-year-old girls.
"This was only two seconds off the world record," said Veltcheva. "So my goal is to break that before April."
Veltcheva will get her next chance at the record back home in Gainesville on 25 February 2017 at the Five Points Of Life 5K, where she is the defending women's champ. She does enjoy racing in Tallahassee, though.
"I really like the Tallahassee races because I have people to run against," said Veltcheva. "But the best part is that my sister goes to FSU. So after the race I get to spend the rest of the weekend with her."
405 athletes finished the 2017 Run For The Cookies 5K, with another 91 completing a one-mile fun run. Gulf Winds Track Club chip-timed the race.
Top Ten Men, 2017 Run For The Cookies 5K
- 16:27, Matthew McCurdy (M, 23)
- 16:58, Vince Molosky (M, 37)
- 17:07, Christopher O'Kelley (M, 23)
- 17:27, Zach Deveau (M, 29)
- 17:32, Ryan Truchelut (M, 31)
- 17:33, Thomas Howell (M, 20)
- 17:38, Jim Halley (M, 37)
- 17:42, Geb Kiros (M, 50)
- 17:45, Mickey Moore (M, 46)
- 17:46, Gary Droze (M, 55)
Top Ten Women, 2017 Run For The Cookies 5K
- 17:35, Ani Veltcheva (F, 12)
- 18:31, Sheryl Rosen (F, 32)
- 19:26, Brittney Barnes (F, 29)
- 21:05, Jillian Heddaeus (F, 33)
- 21:37, Laura McDermott (F, 37)
- 21:42, Laura Reina (F, 52)
- 22:04, Monica Judd (F, 42)
- 22:06, Paula O'Neill (F, 55)
- 22:15, Katherine Lee (F, 20)
- 22:15, Monica Toth (F, 28)
|Run For The Cookies 5K champions, 1994 - 2017|
|19 February 1994||16:12, Gary Droze-1||18:51, Carrie Weyant-1||85|
|25 February 1995||15:42, Gary Droze-2||18:15, Jane Johnson||186|
|24 February 1996||16:08, Gary Droze-3||19:57, Chateau Mangaroo||175|
|22 February 1997||15:17, Gary Droze-4||19:02, Carrie Weyant-2||150|
|28 February 1998||15:38, Jason Ritter||17:29, Sarah Docter-Williams-1||207|
|27 February 1999||16:17, David Ogletree||17:38, Sarah Docter-Williams-2||258|
|26 February 2000||16:23, Robert Pautienus||17:53, Kim Winn||294|
|24 February 2001||15:59, Kevin Danahy||17:30, Sarah Docter-Williams-3||231|
|23 February 2002||15:25, Lee Willis-1||16:18, Breeda Dennehy-Willis-1||248|
|15 February 2003||15:49, Lee Willis-2||16:30, Breeda Dennehy-Willis-2||152|
|14 February 2004||17:07, Timothy Bolton||18:06, Sarah Docter-Williams-4||93|
|12 February 2005||16:23, Justin Jacobs||17:43, Sarah Docter-Williams-5||258|
|11 February 2006||16:49, Kyle Larson||19:04, Stephanie Liles-1||156|
|10 February 2007||15:53, Judson Cake||19:06, Zika Rea||386|
|9 February 2008||16:45, Tripp Southerland||19:35, Stephanie Liles-2||411|
|7 February 2009||16:16, Chris Lake-1||18:40, Audrey Hand||550|
|13 February 2010||16:27, Chris Lake-2||18:11, Amy Hines-1||432|
|12 February 2011||15:50, Kevin Sullivan||19:02, Sheryl Rosen-1||431|
|11 February 2012||16:07, Alex Smyth||17:36, Amy Hines-2||685|
|9 February 2013||16:00, Stanley Linton-1||17:43, Chelsi Woodruff||602|
|8 February 2014||15:24, Stanley Linton-2||17:54, Carly Thomas||369|
|14 February 2015||15:40, Remy Tamer||18:04, Sheryl Rosen-2||332|
|13 February 2016||17:15, Clayburn Milford||18:53, Alexandra Midgett||342|
|11 February 2017||16:27, Matthew McCurdy||17:35, Ani Veltcheva||405|
|The Run For The Cookies was held at Tallahassee Mall from 1994 to 1996,|
and at Tallahassee Community College from 1997 to the present.
A big thank-you to Mark Priddy for his help in completing this summary.
- Complete results of the 2017 “Run For The Cookies” 5K at gulfwinds.org
- More photos of the 2017 “Run For The Cookies” 5K
- Fred Deckert's photos of the 2017 “Run For The Cookies”
- 5K: https://plus.google.com/photos/112560881455823075870/album/6386194407460359729
- “Run For The Cookies” 5K USATF course certification map (FL14006EBM)
- 2016 story, “Sweet wins for Milford and Midgett at Run For The Cookies”
- 2015 story, “In ice cream temperatures, Tamer and Rosen win the 5K Cookie Run”
- 2014 story, “Linton and Thomas take the cake at Run For The Cookies”
- 2013 story, “Linton and Woodruff prove to be tough cookies”
- 2011 story, "Sheryl Rosen wins by a thin mint, Kevin Sullivan by a bakery”
- 2010 story: “It's Lake and Hines for all the cookies!”
- “Run for the cookies, but look out for those Samoas”
- Find your next race in the Tallahassee region on the Trouble Afoot! race calendar